Monday, 1 September 2008

Yeah but... not but... yeah but...

Firstly I’d just like to say that I’ve written the blog in some far flung places but never at half past midnight in the car having been stuck in horrendous traffic on the M25…it doesn’t get more glamorous than this, so forgive me if it’s a short and sweet and somewhat disjointed post!!!

Anyway, why the Vicky Pollard style title? Surely the Queen of chav isn’t appearing in a triathlon near you I hear you ask. Well, it appears that myself and Ms Pollard have more than I thought in common. Thankfully I haven’t started wearing shell tracksuits and chain smoking but with my newly found bid for brain freedom I appear to have a ‘yeah but’ attitude!!! I’m reading a great book ‘The Psychology of Winning’ that is helping me understand where I am now and where I’d like to be. Being positive isn’t just about smiling in the face of bad races or being more understanding when training sessions don’t go to plan or learning how to turn negatives round. Learning about all aspects of myself have led me down a very simple path and one that comes incredibly naturally to me is my ‘yeah but’ attitude. It comes from years of being afraid of failure, of giving myself excuses in case things don’t go the way I planned. I say that sentence so many times in my general life it’s actually quite scary. I hear it now because I’ve learnt more about my inner self in the last two weeks than I ever thought possible. I’ll give you some examples. When I do well the first thing I’ll start my sentence with is… ‘Yeah but…the ladies field wasn’t strong today.’ When I do a great photographic shoot and people compliment me, what do I say… “Yeah but…that’s because I had a great model.’ When I don’t do well I never use ‘Yeah but’ I just accept my performance thinking it’s a true reflection of my ability. Get the gist? ‘Yeah but…’ fills my life with the excuses that stop me believing in myself. Last week at the Pool Triangle I used my new found positive learning and applied it for the whole 33 minutes and 58 seconds of it. I was over the moon to have pushed myself really hard to that PB and that ‘Yeah but’ hung in the back of my mind. In the past I’ve almost hated doing well and PB’ing because I’ve always thought it was through fluke rather than hard work or progress and so I take that into my next race with that very thought at the fore of my mind and true to form and utterly convinced I couldn’t possibly repeat another good performance I will fall back into doing an okay or ‘comfortable’ performance. When I don’t match or come close to what I believe is a one off it’s because I never believed I was capable of it in the first place and it’s easier for me to slip into an average unchallenged, tick the box kind of race. Scared of the challenge, scared of failing, I’ve been like this forever.

This past week was the time to see if I could start to shake my ‘Yeah but’ attitude and where better to start but at the Pool Triangle on Wednesday. Instead of ‘Yeah but’ going round and round my head as I prepared for 30+ minutes of pain I knew I was going to go as hard as I possibly could because I wanted to prove to myself that I had turned a corner both physically and mentally. It felt like a windy night as I warmed up and there was a ‘Yeah but’ just itching to come out but I stayed strong I was going to run my legs into the ground in a bid to get as close as possible to my previous weeks performance. I worked so hard I can’t tell you. I felt sick at the top of the hilliest section and thought I’d gone off too hard but still pushed every ounce of energy out of my screaming legs. I got a quick look at my watch as I approached the finish line and was shocked and elated to see 33mins just tick over to 34mins. 34.04 to be precise. The proof is in the pudding and I just served myself a whopping great wedge of ‘You did it’ pie and what a feeling that was. It felt a million times better than my PB last week because I have no ‘Yeah buts’ I only have ‘I did’ and that’s down to having an ‘I will’ attitude. So my picture this week is myself and John Coleman (super speedy cyclist) with our respective 1st Man and 1st lady prizes for being the fastest in this years Pool Triangle league.

Now all I have to do is remember how this feels and apply it to all aspects of my life. I want to be a winner and that doesn’t mean literally winning races, prizes or even the lottery. It just means I want to behave like a winner and forget my natural losers behaviour. Only time will tell but I’m doing it and it’s working.

Keep on truckin’

H. x

P.s It’s now 1.30am, we’re still in the car and 65 miles from home but we’ve just had a fantastic day at Liz Yelling’s post Olympic beach party and it was great to catch up with Liz and Martin. Both of whom are winners ;)


Anonymous said...

You may find my blog post for this week well timed ;)

You're not alone in the attribution of good performances to external influences ratehr than your abilty though! I think to some extent we all are guilty of it from time to time

joannacarritt said...

hey helen - nice blog, and this is a great post.

taking responsibility for your own outcome includes taking credit for your good performances - and this will provide you with huge motivation to push on and improve further.